Ed: Just made it to the Blue start this year in an attempt to meet our diminishing number of participants. Running for VRUK were Alison Taylor-Reed, Sophie Ashdown Coady and Anna Finn. Joe Harling had planned to assist/support his wife Jane around the course but she also had withdrawn, a familiar story this year. Sophie had also agreed to assist her husband round the course so the time in the results was for him rather than Sophie.
Chris Taylor-Reed was also at the start in support of Alison but my late arrival meant I just saw the back of Alison as the runners moved forward beyond where I could get access. Waiting at pen 4 as the runners passed following the start, I eventually saw Sophie who also noticed the banner. Chris made his way to Greenwich and i had planned to go to Rotherhithe by train via New Cross. Exiting the station I was immediately on the course and the fast runners were still going past, maybe runners aiming for 2 hour 40 mins. Plenty of space to hold the banner and attract the runner’s attention. Still in the first half here, most runners were going well and enjoying themselves. Noticed an East Enders actor (Genene) who showed interest in the banner. Alison who had started in pen 4 (PB 3.53) was going very well at this stage followed by Anna who the previous week had run Paris and many other marathons/ultras as normal this year. Later I picked out Sophie also looking comfortable.
When I decided to go I discovered that passengers were not being allowed back into Rotherhithe station for safety reasons. Bermondsey tube station was only 10 mins walk away and on the course so continued to see the mainly charity runners. Decided to go direct to the finish and the meeting point to possibly meet-up with some other runners. Dave Arnold was at mile 25 with Kate & Cherryl Sinclair. Changing to the ‘Congratulations’ banner, we were once again attracting attention and many runners were confirming they were either veggie or vegan.
Chris arrived to inform us that Alison was suffering in the 2nd half although when Alison arrived she was looking none the worse as indicated by the photo. Unfortunately Sophie’s husband developed problems and needed regular treatment in the latter stage so we did not meet Sophie at the finish. Other vegans meeting us for the first time made up for our small number of runners on the day. Afterwards we went onto the Thai vegan buffet as planned where we once again met a vegan runner who saw us the meeting point. It was just a small gathering this year not the 15 or so of 2010.
Results where relevant: Anna Finn 4.27 and Alison Taylor-Reed 4.49.